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  #1  
Old 01-16-09, 04:47 PM
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Default Thoughts on Ratholing/Shortstacking...

For anyone who doesn't know what I am talking about, this is when you sit down at a NL table with the minimum buy in (say, 20 BBs), and play a very tight strategy, basically looking to shove over the top of normal opens, usually from players who are opening a lot of hands. The idea is to play a tight range of hands and get your money in GOOD preflop as often as possible.

When you double up (or even if you stack grows to 25 or 30 BBs, I'm guessing), you leave the table.

This style pretty much eliminates postflop play and I'm guessing you could play a ton of tables and get in an assload of hands per hour (hello, rakeback) playing a fairly mechanical style.

I remember Wes mentioning at the WSOP a couple of years ago that he was sharing a house with a good shortstacker and that guy made more money playing online cash games than the rest of the house did over the summer.

I've also noticed more people doing this since I last regularly played 6 max cash games a year or so ago, so maybe there is something to it...?

So, what are you thoughts on this? Has anyone had success with it? Do you prefer full ring or 6 max? What kind of numbers are you playing, something like 10/8 preflop? If no one opens in front of you for you to shove over, what do you do when you have a strong hand - just open normally?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-09, 06:38 PM
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oh noes....
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Old 01-16-09, 07:00 PM
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People play significantly better against it than they did like a year ago. Like a year ago a good shortstacker was making like 3ptbb/100, now its like 2ptbb/100 for the very best. I guess now shortstackers just try to add more tables to increase their hourly.

I never actually did it anywhere but Cake, and that was mostly just from having a stake in some people when they did play 25/50 full stacked that led me to believe that a few regs were total spew monkeys preflop. I did pretty well over a short sample size (aka I run good) making 50k or thereabouts over a few month span sporadically doing it.

Essentially all I did was play around with which got me a lot better at like blind vs. BTN and vice versa shoving. Although I never really delved into the harder math of like what I should be shoving UTG+1 vs. UTG open considering how good/bad other players are at the table, I just had like a rough guess of what it would be. Of course a rough guess is sacrificing a few +EV spots, but I was making a pretty penny at that time full stacking too and improving my game was far more centrally located in improving full stacking to allow me to beat 25/50 full stacked, not expect to make an extra .5ptbb/100 when I was playing really high.

And now I play 2/4 like I always do, so maybe looking into shortstacking again would be better .

Last edited by Wes; 01-16-09 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 01-17-09, 06:02 PM
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Ive done it for a while. And it is hugely variant. Your involved in a lot of races, and marginal favourite hands, but the bonus if if it averages out, as it does, the extra bit of cash in the pot from folded hands and blinds, makes up for the bb/100 %. I shortstacked 5/10 though, nowhere near rich enough for 25/50!

Plus - it does make the games "adenaliney". I made up that word, but you get my drift
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Old 01-18-09, 12:29 AM
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Actually, I don't. What in the hell is that supposed to mean?

I'm tempted to give it a whirl and see what kind of volume I could put in. I supposed I'd need to refine my "system" first though, before playing a ton of tables at a time.
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Old 01-18-09, 02:53 PM
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I do it quite a bit .BIG variance also You never get a feel for the players at the table due to the fact your not there long enough. Also cris ferguson has a write up about this on his blog . He called it risk mamagement system and used it on his 0 t0 $10,000 quest
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Old 01-18-09, 09:03 PM
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I think it was a typo (even on a made up word)

Adrenaliney
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Old 01-18-09, 09:10 PM
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I have been running into this a lot lately. I have been cashing out quite a bit and only have the proper BR for 5 cent 10 cent.

I am regularly sitting at a table with $10-15, and most of the players are very shortstacked.

The ones who regularly buy in for 2 bucks are very straight forward. Since they tend to raise and shove with a much narrower range than a player with a bigger stack, I can at least gauge what is likely to come when they get into a hand. I pay a bit more attention to my position relative to them when they are in and I will adjust my ranges depending on how agro they tend to be.

I think it can be done well, but I see it as a method of variance control or for people playing above BR. The tried and true still seems the best for actually setting out to make the dough.
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Old 01-19-09, 09:26 PM
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I've done it. It's pretty break even at full ring(i.e. rakeback/fpp's = your profit).
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Old 01-20-09, 12:35 AM
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Yeah, sorry, it was late.

And i meant it makes it kind of exciting, all in alot more, its kinda fun
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